Disorganization Miles & Points Hobby
One of the trickier parts of this hobby for me has always been organization. Sure I love me a spreadsheet as much as the next nerd, but with so much to track (especially when you add business expenses, etc.) it can get daunting. For this reason I have found that I occasionally fall way behind on updating things. That has been especially true this year coming out of the pandemic era and into almost full time travel. Who has the time?
Confession – Organizing Cards Has Always Been Tedious For Me
When I started in this hobby about a decade ago I didn’t have too many cards and wasn’t quick enough to get a spreadsheet together. In those early days I didn’t track my card numbers, open dates, bonuses, etc. I did go back and manually audit stuff but I had so few cards that it didn’t make a huge difference. Until it did.
Eventually as my cards grew I did begin a spreadsheet that has all of the necessary info I need. And that is perfect when you create it, because it makes it so much easier to have everything in one place. The problem is that cards come and go, replacement cards get sent and if you aren’t on top of updating it, things can go sideways pretty quickly. That is exactly what I just had to overcome.
Getting My Cards In Order
I just got home a couple of days ago and naturally had tons of replacement cards and other things that needed activation. I also realized I had a ton of expired cards, some closed cards and a spreadsheet that hadn’t been updated in awhile. I have been adding new cards as they come, but was too lazy to remove cards and update numbers when replacements came.
My morning began with gathering all of the physical cards in our possession. I found tons that were expired and shredded them and others that hadn’t been updated on our spreadsheet. I used to list all of my cards in the same area, but decided to up my organization by creating separate sections by bank. Everyone will do this differently, but it took hours to update everything, organize it in a new way and make sure the spreadsheet matched my actual open accounts and that I had physical cards for every account in my possession. Ugh.
Is the Hobby Worth the Time?
This hobby can be a time suck for sure. Ultimately we get great value out of miles and points and that can largely offset the time spent on things like organization, but it is something that has to be accounted for. Without this organization you could miss deals, pay excess annual fees and deal with other hassles. That doesn’t even take into account the separate spreadsheets I have to track all of the Amex Platinum credits and other offers that come and go. Oh and then there is the one for gift cards. My head is spinning.
So what is my point? It’s okay to get a little disorganized and even to scale back when things become too much. Or at least I am telling myself that! Either way I’m happy to once again have a fully updated spreadsheet so I can get lazy again and let it fall into disarray. 😉
How do you stay on top of all of the organization needed for this hobby? Let me know in the comments!
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